Brent Pry working to carry successful custom again to Virginia Tech soccer


CHARLOTTE — Virginia Tech’s Dax Hollifield was talking in glowing phrases about Hokies first-year soccer coach Brent Pry on Thursday afternoon when the senior linebacker in contrast him to Bud Foster, this system’s former longtime defensive coordinator.

Pry, who served below Foster at Virginia Tech as a graduate assistant and defensive position coach from 1995 to 1997, smiled broadly in addressing the importance of getting the Hokies’ chief on and off the sector point out him in the identical breath as a legend who stays beloved in Blacksburg.

“It’s a terrific praise, and it’s not accidentally, proper?” Pry mentioned throughout his first ACC media day. “So far as defensive coach and mind-set and training mentality and all these issues, I discovered a lot from Bud these three years. Three years is a fairly good run, particularly once you’re a sponge and also you’re a younger coach and also you’re simply absorbing all the pieces.”

ACC commissioner says league is trying to close gap with Big Ten and SEC

Pry parlayed the information he gained from Foster right into a profitable profession as an assistant, most not too long ago serving as Penn State’s defensive coordinator since 2014 earlier than endeavor the project of overhauling this system at Virginia Tech on the heels of Justin Fuente’s departure.

In contrast to his predecessor, Pry has made himself accessible in the neighborhood, following the mannequin established below Frank Beamer, this system architect who turned Virginia Tech right into a nationwide energy. Beamer stays extraordinarily seen, typically strolling round campus partaking with followers and college students.

Pry has put himself on the market as properly in a bid to reignite a fan base that had grown weary amid shedding data over the previous few years. The Hokies completed under .500 in every of the earlier two seasons for the primary time since 1991 and 1992, when Beamer was within the early levels of developing this system.

Virtually instantly after his hiring, Pry seized upon the successful custom Beamer had put in place over his Corridor of Fame profession, telling his prices throughout his first workforce assembly that they didn’t come to Virginia Tech to go 6-7. Gamers since have recalled that introduction to Pry as inspiration for this season and past.

“That’s sort of the very first thing that bridged the hole for us as gamers with a brand new coach,” vast receiver Kaleb Smith mentioned. “Having anyone who is aware of the Virginia Tech traditions, is aware of what it means to be a Hokie — as a result of that’s one thing all of us share and maintain deep in our hearts.”

The unbridled enthusiasm Pry brings to the job surfaced throughout his opening remarks Thursday, when he paused to have a look at his cellphone and revealed Virginia Tech had simply added one other dedication. Pry, sporting a go well with and tie in Hokies colours, then turned to the three gamers who accompanied him to the occasion and informed them, “Virginia Tech simply bought higher.”

Offensive lineman Silas Dzansi later recounted a narrative of how Pry’s ebullient demeanor has lifted the spirits not simply throughout the locker room but additionally all through Blacksburg. The redshirt senior from Woodbridge used to get requested when strolling by way of campus or close by neighborhoods how relatable Fuente was to his gamers, with followers expressing their distaste for the previous coach.

“That’s one factor I believed was loopy as a result of final yr, the yr earlier than, we’d stroll round, and folks can be like: ‘Do you want Fuente? As a result of I don’t,’ ” Dzansi mentioned. “And now it’s like: ‘Oh, how do you want Coach Pry? As a result of we love him.’ It’s so completely different. It’s such a giant turnaround.”

New Virginia football coach Tony Elliott has players buying in early

However it hasn’t been solely Pry’s vibrant persona that has energized the Hokies, who final season completed 12th out of 14 colleges within the ACC in complete offense (361.6 yards per sport) and second to final in scoring (23.7 factors) and misplaced three straight video games at Lane Stadium for the third time in 4 years.

He additionally brings credentials that embrace directing the Nittany Lions to a nationwide rating of sixth in scoring protection (17.three factors per sport) and third within the crimson zone (66.7 %) final yr. Pry was nominated final season for the Frank Broyles Award as the highest assistant coach in faculty soccer.

He inherits a unit that completed eighth within the ACC in complete protection (392 yards per sport) in 2021 and fifth in scoring (25.three factors).

“I keep in mind Coach Foster, he would simply educate it yet again and do these primary drills,” Hollifield mentioned in elaborating on the similarities between Pry and Foster. “It actually speaks to how straightforward soccer is once you truly perceive what you’re attempting to do. Studying the approach the right approach and making use of it on the sector make a world of distinction, and that was [Pry’s] preliminary message: ‘We’re going to get the basics down, and from that we’re going to start out constructing.’ ”

Read More

Leave a Comment